PG&E asks customers to support electric car
By Lara Moscrip, Bay City News Service
September 4, 2006
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is asking its 5.1 million customers
to sign an online petition asking automakers to make plug-in hybrid
electric vehicles available for mass sale.
The vehicles, dubbed PHEVs or plug-ins, are currently part of
PG&E's company fleet. The electric vehicles can be charged
overnight by being plugged into a 120-volt standard socket and
can operate without any gasoline.
The technology for these cars is here today, but automakers aren't
convinced there are enough buyers for them, said Bob Howard, PG&E
vice president of gas transmission and distribution.
That's why customers are being asked to go online
to log their interest in the cars. A notice included in September's
bill directs customers to the site, Howard said.
"The petition basically says, 'If you build it, we will
buy it,'" he said.
According to a study commissioned by the California Electric
Transportation Coalition, if automakers began making plug-ins
within the next few years, 2.5 million of the cars could be on
the road by the year 2020.
That's the equivalent of taking as many as 5 million of today's
vehicles off the road, according to the report. The addition of
the cars would also save 1.14 billion gallons of gasoline each
year, the report found.
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